There are over 8,767 pediatric dentists in the US. There are 114 of them in the state of Kentucky alone. Choosing among this broad range of options is like trying to set up a date. A poor match could cause your child to hate going to see the dentist and start ignoring their oral health. Making the choice is easier if you know what to look for, so read on to learn nine qualities of a top Lexington pediatric dentist.
1. Patience and Friendliness
Pediatric dental care often takes more time than dental care for adults. Children aren’t used to the chair and may not be ready to sit in it right away. They may also need to take breaks during the procedures if they become overwhelmed.
This is why a pediatric dentist needs to be patient. This means a willingness to wait for the child to be ready and using small, slow movements to try and minimize pain. They need to hide their stress and irritation to avoid spreading it to their patient while looking for cues the child needs a break.
The pediatric dentist also needs to be friendly because children don’t respond well to unfamiliar adults who are standoffish. They need to give a positive first impression by using a soothing voice and attitude.
2. Engaging With Your Child
Children are question machines. The right dentist needs to be able to provide the answers, or at least try.
They need to explain the process for each visit and the importance of dental care procedures such as brushing your teeth and getting regular cleanings. This means getting down on their level to make sure the child will understand without being condescending.
3. Valuing Your Input
A pediatric dentist must remember that, in most cases, there are two people in the room with them. They should value your input as a parent and answer any questions about your child’s oral care.
This communication extends beyond the appointment. Expect a follow-up call or email after each one. They should also tell you about what happened if your child ever goes into the chair without you.
4. Proper Training
Specializing in dentistry for children requires years of extra training. These credentials need to be put on display in their office. Information about their enrollment in continual education courses should also be easy to find.
You may also want to look for one experienced in children with special needs. They understand how to accommodate their physical and emotional differences. This may involve rearranging the office or hiring additional staff. They can even provide sedation dentistry if necessary.
5. Creating a Welcoming Environment
A Lexington pediatric dentistry office should feel like it was created with children in mind.
Expect a waiting room with bright colors and art or posters on the walls. It should also have plenty of books and games to keep the children entertained until the dentist is ready for them.
The exam room should be the same way. There needs to be an effort made to keep it from feeling scary or unwelcoming. The dentist can also give toys or prizes for being a great patient.
Kids miss 51 million school hours a year due to dental-related illnesses. That number only increases if you have to pull them out of school to drive to a clinic across down every time they have an appointment.
Look for a local children’s dentist in Lexington instead. Check their hours to see if you can schedule appointments on the weekends and at times that won’t conflict with your schedule.
Children tend to lose teeth, fall, and cause other dental emergencies that need immediate care. The quicker you can get to the dentist, the sooner these problems can be fixed and the less time your child will spend waiting nervously in the car.
7. Easing Anxiety
15.3% of adults across the world experience dental fear and anxiety. This fear can spread to your children and cause them to become upset at the mere thought of entering the office.
A pediatric dentist needs to understand what causes children to be anxious at the dentist and how to help them feel comfortable. They need to come prepared with a variety of aids, such as:
Look into what they offer and see if it’ll work for your child. Ask if you can bring in a favorite toy or song that you know will put them at ease.
8. Offering a Variety of Services
Check the services that each Lexington pediatric dentist offers. Even ones that are a few miles away from each other can differ widely in what they provide. Their offerings should be listed on the wall or on their website or social media.
Try to find a single office that you can go to for all of your child’s dental health needs. This includes preventative services such as cleanings and checkups and restorative care such as filling cavities or fixing cracked teeth.
You’ll save time and money by not having to travel around town. Your child will also feel more comfortable by sticking with a single dentist.
9. Having a Talented Team
Finding the right Lexington children’s dentist is essential. You also need to look at who they’re working with. This includes everyone from the office staff at the reception desk to the assistants and hygienists.
Each and every one of them should have the same positive qualities as the dentist. They need to be qualified, patient, and willing to work to make your child comfortable.
Where to Find a Lexington Pediatric Dentist
The search for a qualified pediatric dentist begins as soon as your child’s first tooth comes in or they turn one. There are so many choices available that you may not know what to look for when comparing them.
The most important thing is that they and the rest of their team make you and your child feel comfortable. Their office should be a welcoming environment in a convenient location with a variety of services available.
Schedule an appointment with a Lexington pediatric dentist today.